FORMER international galloper King Of Dudes will attempt to give Warrnambool trainer Aaron Purcell his second Melbourne winner in a week when he runs in the $100,000 Rain Lover Handicap at Flemington today.
The Purcell stable has enjoyed a great run over the past few weeks, capped off with the win of Initiator in a 2000-metre race at Caulfield last Saturday.
Purcell said he was quietly confident that King Of Dudes would run well in the 2500-metre race after being a victim of a stop-start pace in his last run when he ran seventh at Flemington.
“There was just no pace in his last race. He’s a geninue stayer who needs pace on in the race. Jockey Michelle Payne rode him well the other day but in hindsight it was too pretty of a ride,” he said.
“King Of Dudes is suited to big tracks like Flemington. I would say looking at the field for today there will be more pace in the race which will suit us down to the ground.”
Purcell said King Of Dudes had improved at each of his four runs since he arrived in his Warrnambool stables.
“His four runs have been good. He’s improved with each run. Two runs back he was caught wide at Moonee Valley and boxed on strongly to the line to finish third.
“I think with a bit of time he should develop into a handy type of stayer. King Of Dudes has the added bonus of being able to handle wet tracks.”
Purcell also accepted with Clare Island Boy in the Rain Lover Handicap but the Grand Annual Steeplechase-winning trainer said the five-year-old may be saved for a run in a restricted race over 3054 metres at Warrnambool on Monday.
Warrnambool trainer Matthew Williams will run the promising Clairvaux in a $80,000 race over 1200 metres at Flemington today.
Clairvaux, which scored an impressive victory at his last outing at Warrnambool last month, has won two of his six starts.
The three-year-old also has three minor placings to his credit.